Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Lifehacker and Text to Speech.

Having to write every day means you end up becoming quite aware of your reuse of phrases, and the errors you make regularly.  Lawyers are certainly not immune to the phenomenon. So editing is a skill I have to hone, all the time.

Lifehacker had some nice tips on improving your writing earlier this week.  One is "read your text out loud." This makes some sense -- I agree with Lifehacker's argument that:
"The best writing sounds smooth—almost like you're speaking, without getting colloquial. So actually listening to your written syntax is one of the best ways you can catch areas with jangling phrasing."
Of course, under time pressure with a deadline, it's hard to do that. However, one tip I picked up from my brother, is to use a text-to-speech program to make your computer read the text out loud.  

My Mac has, built in, the ability to do that.  It's called Text to Speech, and it has a remarkable set of features (including a range of accents you can choose for the voice that reads your text). 

It may not make your writing perfect, but at least you'll have a fighting chance of detecting auto-replace substituting form for from ...